Women organisation decries Nandigram violence; demands CM's removal

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New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) A women organisation and a writers' forum today slammed the West Bengal government for what they dubbed as ''pogrom and mayhem'' engineered and unleashed by CPI(M) cadres in Nandigram village in March and November this year and demanded Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's resignation on moral grounds.

In a news conference, Committee Against Violence on Women representative Indira Chakravorty said the brutalities inflicted on the people of Nandigram by CPI(M) cadres, for acquiring the pieces of land of villagers for setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZs), surpassed every wrong precedent set in history.

''It is a genuine anti-imperialist struggle against the sale of our resources through SEZs and neo-liberal global economic policies of the subservient ruling elite of our country,'' she added.

Jharna Giri, a victim of the violence, said,''Several women were raped and men brutally tortured during the Nandigram violence. Male members of the village were picked up by the police randomly and detained without being given any reason.

The police brutality was at its worst. Those who tried to complain against the police were subjected to the worst form of torture just to send out a message that those who do not fall in the line drawn by the police will have to go through the same.'' ''My father was picked up and taken to an undisclosed destination and when we petitioned the Calcutta High Court, though he was released, he was again taken into custody and subjected to inhuman treatment,'' she lamented.

Congress activist Vinay Konal said,'' There was no truth in the claims of the West Bengal government that outsiders were involved in the violence. Those who were involved in the violence were CPI(M) cadres only and the rest were villagers, who staged protests but only peacefully.'' ''More than 85,000 families will be displaced by the setting up of SEZs in Nandigram where around 22,500 acres of land is being tried to acquire. Since 1977, only 26 out of thousands of families, displaced in the name of industrialisation, have been rehabilitated.

So the promise of the State government to rehabilitate the families, which will be displaced in the current drive for SEZs, does not hold water,'' he added.

Noted Hindi poet Madan Kashyap, belonging to the Samrajayavad Virodi Lekhak Manch, also attacked the SEZ policies of all those states, including West Bengal, which were pursuing it, saying what happened in Nandigram was nothing but a ''brutal repression''.

He demanded that farmers be made their own masters and their land not be acquired forcibly by the government. And in case any farmer wanted to sell his land to any industrialist, he should be free to do so, he said.


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